Bright Like a Rose

Shen Man stood outside the door with a book in her hand.

After a while, the door opened a gap, revealing a pair of proud apricot eyes.

“Why’re you looking for me?” Lin Shu asked in annoyance.

Shen Man smiled gently and handed over the book, “I’ve finished copying notes.
I’m returning your book.”

Lin Shu frowned, pausing for two seconds, suddenly furious.

She forcefully opened the door and glared at Shen Man.
Her pale and tender face turned red with anger.
“Shen Man, you tricked me! Your books were never ruined.”

“How could I find the courage to trick you?” Shen Man replied with a smile, bringing with her a cold gaze, followed by a sense of oppression, “Since the young lady wants to play, I am naturally willing to play along.”

“You…” Lin Shu was stunned, her momentum weakening in an instant.
She bit her lip and snatched her book back.

With a bang, she slammed the door hard, bringing about a sense of unreleased anger.

Shen Man stood outside, chuckling, before returning to her room.

Her original, undamaged book laid quietly on her desk.

A gust of wind blew past, flipping over a few pages to the notes she had just copied.

Shen Man sat down, slender fingers squeezing the corners of the page.

She stared at the notes written not long ago on it, frowning slightly.

Those water damaged magazines are not worth mentioning to Lin Shu.

She, on the other hand, copied the same notes twice and had her bag soaked.

In the end Shen Man was still the one who suffered.

In fact, she can play around with Lin Shu without paying a price.

However, she still chose this stupid method of ‘hurting the enemy by 1000, but injuring yourself by 800’.

Shen Man chuckled and closed the book.
She then got up and walked over to the balcony.

The cool breeze combed through her hair.
She pinned her hair back and gazed at the green plants framing the various high-rise buildings.

Shen Man stood for a moment before feeling a sliver of coldness.

Then, she turned around and returned to her room.

The phone she left on her desk rang.

Shen Man walked over and saw that the call was from ‘Tan Kai’.

Just before the last ring, she picked it up and asked in a faint voice, “What’s wrong?”

“We’re going to have a basketball game tomorrow afternoon.
I was wondering if you have time to come and see.” Tan Kai said with a smile, with a bit of nervousness evident in his voice. 

“Sorry, I’m busy tomorrow.” Shen Man replied.

“What are you going to do?” Tan Kai asked.

Shen Man was silent.

For a few moments, no one spoke.

Tan Kai summoned up his courage and persuaded her while laughing, “Class monitor, a basketball game isn’t that long.
Come cheer for us, and if you still don’t like it, you can leave.

The boy changed the way of calling her, pleading with nervous caution.

Shen Man frowned.

“Lin Shu and her other female classmates will come too,” Tan Kai added.

Shen Man paused, then finally agreed with a ‘mm’.

Tan Kai’s basketball game is at five o’clock in the afternoon with students from other departments watching the match.

Finally, the last lecture was finished.

Tan Kai excitedly walked to Shen Man’s table, and said with a smile, “Class monitor, you will go with Lin Shu.”

“Why should I go with her?”Lin Shu expressed her discontent.

Shen Man smiled and said, “You go first, I have something to do at the homeroom teacher’s office.”

“Okay.” Tan Kai immediately nodded with a smile, and looked back at Lin Shu, “You can save a seat for Shen Man.”

Lin Shu glanced at him, and her little face became even more dissatisfied, “Why should I save a seat for her?.”

“You’re good friends.
Don’t be so stingy.
Help her get a seat.”Tan Kai laughed and tried persuading her.

Lin Shu didn’t speak, just sneered, and walked out with her school bag on her back.

Shen Man packed up her textbooks, got up and went to the homeroom’s teacher’s office.

It took her half an hour to finish her business.

She carried her schoolbag and stepped out the door, just in time to bump into a girl coming out of the opposite room.

The two meet eyes.

Shen Man beamed, saying, “Yin Ruxu, what are you doing here?”

“I was bringing the homework here,” Yin Ruxu answered with a gentle smile.
She walked over to stand next to Shen Man and said in a warm voice, “Are you going back?”

“I’m heading to the basketball court,” Shen Man replied.

“I heard there will be an amazing basketball game today, I was just on my way there,” Yin Ruxu giggled and gently lifted her head towards Shen Man, “Let’s go together.”

“Okay,” Shen Man nodded.

The two walked down the stairs together and went to the basketball court.

The court was always occupied by many people playing basketball daily.

Walking past it, you could always see those youthful, energetic boys with glistening sweat on their skin.

In the bleachers, there was never a lack of females.

Today, it was especially lively and the bleachers were full of people, most of which were beautifully dressed girls.

In the court, there were two teams of five competing as the other courts were empty.
Many boys in basketball uniforms could be seen also sitting on the bleachers, some even holding a ball in their hands.

Shen Man lifted her eyes and looked around, finally spotting Lin Shu sitting in the middle area.

Lin Shu rested her chin in both hands and her slender, white thighs peeked out from under her skirt.
Her exquisite appearance and noble aura helped her stand out in the crowd.

On her left sat two others, Yan Jie and Ding Qian.

“Wow, there’s so many people here, it seems we came too late.
There’s no more seats.” Yin Ruxu said in a soft voice.

“Let’s go and see, maybe there’s still more somewhere,” Shen Man laughed, heading in Lin Shu’s direction.
Yin Ruxu followed from behind.

Lin Shu lifted her head, just in time to meet eyes with Shen Man, and then she noticed Yin Ruxu.

She rolled her eyes in disdain and held her temple with one hand, unblinkingly watching the game.

Shen Man walks closer.

She notices that on Lin Shu’s right, there was a seat with a water bottle on top.

“Ah, there’s only one seat left,” Yin Ruxu commented, her pretty face showing a trace of loss.
She turned to Shen Man and said, “You should sit, I’ll try to see if I can find more spots.”

“This was supposed to be for Shen Man anyways, don’t speak as if you’re the one giving up something,” Lin Shu snapped, turning her head to glare at Yin Ruxu coldly.

Yin Ruxu bit her lip and looked around at the people around her, before lowering her head looking wronged.

A boy sitting nearby immediately stood up and said, “You’re the Arts major’s flower, this seat is for you.”

“How can I accept this? This is your seat, I can go somewhere else to find more.
It’s fine even if I stand to watch too,” Yin Ruxu replied with a gentle smile, her voice soft and weak.

“It’s fine, it’s fine, you can sit down,” the boy replied with a smile, stepping back to leave.

“Thank you,” Yin Ruxu answered with a blush.

The boy’s face slowly turned red too and his smile grew wider.

Shen Man put aside the water bottle and sat down, her bag on the floor near her leg.

On her left sat Lin Shu, and on her right was Yin Ruxu.

She glanced at Lin Shu and smiled, “Shushu, thanks for saving a spot for me.”

“Who wanted to save you a spot? Tan Kai put the bottle there,” Lin Shu answered in annoyance.
She accidentally looked at Yin Ruxu and quickly turned her head away in disgust.

Yin Ruxu blinked a few times and her eyes suddenly glistened with tears.
She pitifully said, “Lin Shu, what happened last time was my fault, I caused your injury.
Can you forgive me?”

After a moment, she added, “It’s fine if you don’t accept my apology, it’s my fault in the first place.”

Lin Shu didn’t answer, she opened a bottle of water and gulped down a big sip.
She then turned towards Ding Qian and said, “Why is this water so disgusting? It tastes like bitter tea.”

Ding Qian quickly took a sip and seriously said, “Not really, I only taste a bit of sweetness.
It’s not bitter at all.”

Shen Man took a sip too and laughed, “This water is sweet, maybe Shushu’s mouth has a bitter taste, so it tastes bitter too.”

Hearing this, Lin Shu glared at Shen Man and arrogantly stated, “If I say it’s bitter, it’s bitter.”

“Then how about I try your bottle, then I’d know if it’s bitter or not?” Shen Man chuckled as she leaned over to grab it.

Lin Shu tensed up.
Before she could refuse, the bottle had already been taken away.

She could only stare at Shen Man drinking from her water bottle.

“It seems to be slightly bitter,” said Shen Man with pursed lips and a serious expression.

Lin Shu snatched the bottle back and hugged it close to her body, her ruddy red lips squeezed together in a fine line.

Shen Man sat close to her, so she could hear Lin Shu’s gritted teeth.

She laughed and said, “How about I let you take a sip from mine.
That way we’re even.”

“Who wants your water?” Lin Shu glared.

Shen Man grinned and licked her lips.

Lin Shu grew angrier and turned away with a pout.

Suddenly, the crowd erupted into loud screams, and many girls stood up.
They were shouting in excitement, “AHHH, Tan Kai is so handsome!”

Shen Man looked over.
She saw Tan Kai standing outside the three-point line, as a basketball made a beautiful trail into the hoop.

Surrounded by the cheers of the crowd, Tan Kai excitedly took off his jersey and revealed his eight-pack abdominal muscles.
The screams of girls suddenly became piercingly louder.

Shen Man raised her hands to cover her ears.
“He’s just taking off a shirt, do they really need to scream so loudly?” Lin Shu smirked.

“He has a good figure, is handsome, and good basketball…” Ding Qian next to her softly explained with a blush.
Lin Shu looked over, her eyes puzzled, and asked, “Why are you going crazy with those girls too?”
“I’m not…” Ding Qian hurriedly shook her head in shock.
Then, she lowered her head, her face turning even redder.

Tan Kai walks over to Lin Shu and others.
He held his clothes in front of Lin Shu and said happily, “Help me take my jersey.”
Lin Shu immediately leaned back, her little face full of disgust, “It’s full of sweat, I don’t want to.”

“If you don’t take it, then I’ll ask class monitor.” Tan Kai said without any worry of rejection.
“Sorry, I have a schoolbag and water in my hand.
I don’t think I can,” Shen Man said.

Tan Kai paused and his face flushed red.
“How about, I do it for you…” Ding Qian murmured, lowering her head quickly after saying that.

Tan Kai looked at Shen Man and hesitated.
“Give it to Ding Qian quickly and go play your game.” Lin Shu took the jersey and threw it into Ding Qian’s arms.
Ding Qian hurriedly caught it and her careful movements showed joy.

Tan Kai was stunned, but he quickly laughed and turned back to the court.
Lin Shu looked at his lonely back and stared at Shen Man seriously.
In a low voice, she said, “I won’t allow you to bully that stupid Tan Kai!”
Shen Man smiled and raised the corners of her lips cynically, “Don’t worry, I prefer to bully cute girls like Shushu.”

“You…” Lin Shu felt she was teased and blushed with anger.

Due to the large number of people around her, she could only stare at Shen Man fiercely with her gaze.

Shen Man responded with a standard fake smile.
Lin Shu pouted and turned her head away, deliberately moving away to the left.

Shen Man smiled softly and held her cheek in one hand, staring at the girl besides her.
Lin Shu’s bright and touching little face seems to be always full of inexhaustible youthful vitality.
Every time she looks at people, she carries the pride and confidence of an eldest young lady.

When she laughs, her face is as bright as the sun.
When she’s angry, her face is as beautiful as a sunset’s glow.
Anger usually greatly reduces a people’s attractiveness, but on this girl,it added to her beauty.
She is a hot and bright as an inextinguishable flame.

Shen Man turned her head to the right.
It was a completely different scenery.
Yin Ruxu is gentle, weak, and beautiful in appearance.
All her words and deeds carry a sort of gentle but pitiful innocence, which can easily arouse other’s desire to protect.

One is as fiery as fire and the other is as gentle as water.
Each beauty has their own unique characteristics.

In the past, she would prefer the obedient and gentle type.
But now, between Lin Shu and Yin Ruxu, it’s really difficult to judge.

“Shen Man, what are you thinking about? You’re smiling so strangely,” Lin Shu frowned with vigilance in her eyes.
“Some interesting things.” Shen Man smiled, looking at Lin Shu, “I suddenly thought of a phrase.”

“What phrase?” Lin Shu asked, still on guard.
“As brilliant as a rose,” Shen Man hooked her lips in a smile.

Lin Shu was stunned and sneered disdainfully, “We’re watching basketball games right now, stop thinking about studying, okay? What a nerd.”
Shen Man: “…”

Lin Shu turned her head and saw Tan Kai score a shot so clapped happily.
A trace of helplessness appeared in Shen Man’s eyes, but she followed her and applauded.

At the end of the halftime game, Tan Kai’s team scored the most.
He picked up a bottle of water, finished it in one go amidst the screams of many girls, and shot it like a basketball in a beautiful arc directly into the trash can.
The screams grew louder.

Tan Kai walked over to Lin Shu and raised his eyebrows proudly, “How was I today?”
As he spoke, he glanced at Shen Man from the corner of his eyes.
Shen Man’s face remained unchanged as she lowered her head to drink water.

“It’s okay, don’t be so confident.
There’s still another half,” Lin Shu reminded.
“I know, we’ll definitely win in the second half.” Tan Kai said confidently and smiled at Shen Man, “Class monitor, did I bring honor to our class this time?”
Shen Man nodded politely with a smile and praised, “Everyone is great.”

As soon as her words fell, the crowd suddenly erupted into deafening screams.
“AHHH! It’s Shao Qi! Shao Qi is here!”

Lin Shu immediately stood up excitedly and joined the screaming people.
“It’s really Shao Qi!”
Shen Man turned her head with narrowed eyes.

I was thinking that when Lin Shu said her water tastes like bitter tea, she was mocking Yin Ruxu for being a “green tea”.
Lin Shu thinks Yin Ruxu is pretending to be pure and innocent.

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